It took me some months to recover from the incident with the greeneyed giants. My world had been shaken. So many of my brethren had been squashed in the dark. It was a miracle, that I had survived. In the meantime we made friendly relations with those giants, we even have a name for them now. We call them Bechemo, ‘Fountain of strong feelings’, because we feared them (and still do), we suffered, we were full of joy because of the new items and now we’re happy because of the new opportunities. The first thing the Bechemo asked from us, when we started the diplomatic negotiations, was the head of the guy that stole their treasure. My head. We just chopped off the head of a random bearded human and they accepted it. Every dwarf looks alike for them, tiny with a beard. Of course our size is the right one and they are just all ridiculously tall.
The technomancers published a method to make platinum amulets out of platinum and platinum out of platinum ore, which we mine in the giant halls now. We trade beer with the Zyklops and the Bechemo. They seem to love our beer a lot. The Zyklops even found a way to use it as a weapon. That is an abuse of that holy beverage, but we have to allow it for the sake of gold. We would never use beer like that, it’s a sacrilege.
That reminds me of a nice story about beer. One fine day human visitors from Venore came to Kazordoon. They wanted to trade with us. We had a business lunch with them. We were drinking loads of beer. We always drink beer at lunch. And we noticed, that we can make more profit, if we make the traders very drunk. This time it didn’t work. The humans were drinking and drinking and the only people who got drunk were we. We accused them of committing a sacrilege and told them we would put mushrooms in their ears and roast them on our barbecue, if they don’t stop to use magic against beer. That impressed them somehow. They were very very drunk all of a sudden and most of them fell from their chairs directly under the table. We ransacked their pockets and found suspicious white rings. We put the rings on the fingers of the humans they were sober, pulled the rings off and the humans were drunk. Then we asked them about the rings and they were slurring that it was an “a-a-ring”. We gave the looted rings to our geomancers and they found out how they work. There was ice magic involved, which is not our favourite magic but we managed to copy the rings and now every dwarf guard has to carry one or two and put it on when an intruder appears. Only the members of the secret order of the Followers of the Drunk Death don’t have to carry the ring. They are very pious and most deadly when drunk.
We couldn’t find out how to make the red shields, the Zyklops say it is made of “Za’Kalortith”. “No good Zyklops goes where you can find and need evil flame to melt.” Yadayadayada. The Bechemo trade those shields with a race of red giants that lives in a cave in the north of the isle. Our first explorers met some of the red giants. They consist of fire. Thus we call them Dechmons, ‘Hill of fire’. Their bodies are hot and I don’t mean sexy. They radiate a lot of heat. You should think they would be a nice roommate in winter, but they suffer from an illness, that makes them belch a beam of fire in front of them. Even if you would stay diagonal, they would for sure burn the furniture, books and bedclothes. So we didn’t want to mine in their caves. We decided to explore the northwest of Ad Ron instead.
Ad Ron is a strange isle, naturally devided in several parts, by mountains, rivers and impenetrable thicket. Me and my rotworms were chosen to dig a tunnel to the west in the northern part of the isle. It was an honour for us. The area in the northwest of Ad Ron was inhabited by trolls and wolves. It was a very safe place. The trolls greeted us friendly and organized a very nice welcome party. We had roasted wolves, rabbits, mouldy cheese, blueberry and banana pie with fresh honey and beer. In return we extended their tunnels for them. We found gold ore at the western shore and mined there. In the south we built our home and a mushroom farm. It was the best time of my life.
I fell in love with Borzel the mushroom farmer. We dwarves think it is discriminating to divide dwarvenkind into male and female people, therefore it is an insult to call a dwarf a woman. We treat everyone equal. This exemplary attitude sometimes causes problems though. It happens, that a male dwarf marries a male dwarf and after the marriage they find out, that they both are male. This happens with female dwarves too. They sometimes divorce then, sometimes they stay together and just don’t mention gender anymore. I was lucky, Borzel is a female. She has the most silky beard I have ever seen. I courted her and wrote a song for her, which I sang for her one evening in the tavern when we both were very drunk.
It’s a little bit funny this feeling inside
I’m not one of those who can easily hide
I don’t have much gold but dwarf if I did
I’d buy a big shroomfarm where we both could live
Anyway the thing is what I really mean
Yours is the sweetest beard I’ve ever seen
We married on the next day. In future in this text I will call her “him” and you know why. He probably will read this and get offended and I don’t want to be hit with a mushroom shovel.
We found rare crystals in the gold mine. We started to sell them to traders from Venore, that was most likely a mistake. One day when we brought ore and crystals to the trading post near the northern coast, where the Venorans had built a harbour, a person popped up out of a hole in front of us. He looked human and he was dressed in black and grey. He was wearing a dress like a woman and some kind of woolen hat and gloves. It was a summer day and I wondered what’s wrong with that guy. We asked him if he wanted to buy ore or crystals. He answered in some kind of flat and cracked voice that our “corpses would be his.” So we figured it would be better to attack him. The ringing of steel filled the air as many axes were drawn. He summoned two undead creatures and attacked us with death magic. He kept a distance from us and was healing himself a lot. He was trying to put his summoned minions between us and himself. This way we fought until he was standing with his back to the mine entrance. He entered the mine. That was a bad move. It was easy to trap him there and we killed him. We found a journal in his pockets in which he said he felt the urge to destroy the crystals we had found, so nobody would get them anymore. He was raving on something about death crystals being the opposite of life crystals. We took the journal and brought it to a geomancer, maybe he would understand the rantings of that madman. We buried the corpse at the end of the mine near the crystals under a pile of stones. I went out of the cave afterwards, we still had to deliver our goods. When the dwarf who was carrying the journal of the lunatic left the mine, we could hear a roaring thunder behind us and the entrance of the mine collapsed. We called the other dwarves for help and we were digging as fast as we could. Only to find the miners all dead and turned into ghouls. We killed the undead and tears ran over our cheeks in our beards because the ghouls had been our friends and now we had to kill them. This must have been caused by a curse of that crazy human. We called our geomancers but they couldn’t lift the curse. Everybody was shocked and sad. Everybody had lost friends and family members. We couldn’t mine there anymore. We left the mine and the caves in the south and me and Borzel went back to my old house in the tunnel gardens.
I heard that goblins moved in our old home. They still take care of the mushroom farm, which is at least something.